Sample California Third-Party Legal Opinion for Venture Capital Financing Transactions

111 Min Read By: The Opinions Committee, Business Law Section of the State Bar of California

The Opinions Committee (the “Committee”) of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California (the “California State Bar Business Law Section”) has prepared and issued this sample opinion (the “Venture Opinion”)1 in consultation with the Corporations Committee (the “Corporations Committee”) of the California State Bar Business Law Section, and with the approval of the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Business Law Section. The editors and contributors to the Venture Opinion are the following:


Richard N. Frasch

Other Drafting Committee Members:

Twila L. Foster

Jerome A. Grossman

Timothy G. Hoxie

Douglas F. Landrum

Ann Yvonne Walker

Contributors Outside The Committee:

Arthur N. Field

Donald W. Glazer

Jerome E. Hyman

Stanley Keller

Michael J. Kendall

James J. Rosenhauer

Suzanne Weakley Corporations Committee Representatives:

Julia K. Cowles

Jeffrey T. Drake

Christina F. Pearson

2013–2014 Opinions Committee

Steering Committee:

Richard N. Frasch, Co-Chair

Timothy G. Hoxie, Co-Chair

James F. Fotenos, Vice Chair

Kenneth J. Carl, Secretary

Ethan J. Falk

Jerome A. Grossman

Douglas F. Landrum

Carol K. Lucas

John B. Power

Peter S. Szurley

Ann Yvonne Walker

Steven O. Weise

Other Members:

Dennis B. Arnold

John Babala

Kenneth J. Baronsky

Mark A. Bonenfant

Thomas G. Brockington

Peter H. Carson

James Cochran

Nelson D. Crandall

Charles L. Crouch, III

Henry D. Evans, Jr.

Twila L. Foster

Norman Futami

Nora Gibson

Robert J. Gloistein

Thomas Klaus Gump

Meredith S. Jackson

John M. Jameson

David Johnson

Moshe J. Kupietzky

F. Daniel Leventhal

Kenneth Linhares

Richard Luther

Sean Monroe Theresa G. Moran

Peter S. Muñoz

Eustace A. Olliff

Sarah P. Payne

Susan Cooper Philpot

David M. Pike

Bradley J. Rock

Steven E. Sherman

Richard Smith

Brooks Stough

Jeffrey E. Sultan

Gail Suniga

Robert Thompson

Jack D. Welch, III

Benzion J. Westreich

Nancy H. Wojtas


In 2009, the Opinions Committee of the Business Law Section of the State Bar of California published a commentary on customary practice with respect to third-party legal opinions given in venture capital financing transactions (the “2009 Venture Capital Report”).2 This sample opinion (the “Venture Opinion”), along with the accompanying footnotes, augments the 2009 Venture Capital Report by providing an illustration of what an opinion letter given in a venture capital financing transaction might look like.

The Venture Opinion builds upon several prior exemplars: the …

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